This article is courtesy of Popular Mechanics
Here are five outboards that might well give you a reason to repower your boat with something quiet, clean, and new.
Mercury Racing 450R
When Mercury introduced its new 4.6-liter V8 Verado last year, we knew it was only a matter of time before they upped the horsepower in a big way. Which they’ve now done with the 450R, which brings a 2.4-liter twin-screw supercharger and an available Sport Master gearcase to the party. The 450R is lightweight—with a 25-inch shaft, the 450R weighs 702 pounds. It’s also available in a 20-inch shaft, which has hilarious high-speed connotations for bass boats.
A three-year warranty indicates that Mercury Racing is confident that the 450R isn’t unduly stressed, despite its top-of-the-food-chain power rating. And that horsepower number is achieved on 89-octane pump gas, so it’s not like you have to trailer your boat over to the local drag strip to fill up on 100-octane race gas. With outboards, total horsepower is limited by what you can physically fit on the back of the boat—if you have a boat with quad 350s and repower with 450Rs, it’s like adding a whole extra engine.
Evinrude E-TEC G2 150
Four-cylinder four-strokes are basically the industry standard in this power category, but Evinrude goes in a decidedly different direction with its new 150 horsepower E-TEC. A 1.9-liter three-cylinder direct-injected two-stroke, the G2 E-TEC foregoes the G1’s V6 architecture (though they still sell that one, too, as well as the V6 G2 150 H.O.) in the name of efficiency. Which it delivers, to the tune of 12 mpg at a fast trolling speed on a 20-foot boat.
A 150 horsepower outboard can be deployed on a wide variety of boats, to the G2 can be controlled via a mechanical steering cable, external hydraulic, integrated power steering and even a tiller. Evinrude estimates that the onboard oil tank under the cowling should be good for 50 to 60 hours of use (a normal boating season for most people) and the maintenance interval is as close to zero-maintence as it gets—every five years or 500 hours.